Tommy John surgery has already taken away a long list of high-profile pitchers this year, with Kris Medlen, Matt Moore, Jarrod Parker, Patrick Corbin, and Bobby Parnell among them, but it could soon claim its biggest victim yet. 2013 National League Rookie of the Year Award winner Jose Fernandez was placed on the disabled list Monday with a right elbow sprain and Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel hears that the Marlins are expecting that he'll require season-ending surgery.
Fernandez complained of discomfort in his throwing arm following Friday's start against the Padres, where he gave up six runs (five earned) over five-plus innings. He felt ill prior to the start and didn't have his normal velocity, resulting in a rare clunker.
Fernandez's agent, Scott Boras, confirmed to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com that his client underwent two MRIs on his elbow and will travel back to Miami to be examined by team physician Dr. Lee Kaplan. While there's nothing official on his status yet, the situation doesn't sound particularly promising. Assuming Fernandez does indeed undergo Tommy John surgery, we might not see him until around midseason next year. That's just not fair.
Fernandez, 21, owns a 2.25 ERA and 257/71 K/BB ratio over his first 224 1/3 innings in the majors. It's tough to really put into words what this injury means to the Marlins and fantasy owners, as this type of elite production simply can't be replaced. Either Kevin Slowey or Brad Hand will likely take Fernandez's spot in Miami's starting rotation for the time being, but we could be just weeks away from top prospect Andrew Heaney making his major league debut. The 23-year-old left-hander has a 2.31 ERA and 37/10 K/BB ratio in 39 innings across his first seven starts this year with Double-A Jacksonville. It might make sense to stash him away in deeper fantasy leagues.
Mets Shake Things Up
The Mets made some significant changes to their pitching staff Monday, pegging Rafael Montero to come up from Triple-A Las Vegas to make his major league debut Wednesday for the Subway Series against the Yankees. In turn, Jenrry Mejia has been moved to the bullpen.
Montero, 23, gets the call after posting a 3.67 ERA and 41/18 K/BB ratio in 41 2/3 innings across his first eight starts this season in Triple-A. He struck out five and walked three over 5 1/3 innings of no-hit ball during his most recent outing on Friday. Listed at 6-feet and 185 pounds, Montero doesn't possess overpowering stuff, but he has excellent control and command. While his walks have gone up in the pitcher-friendly Pacific Coast League, he has averaged just 2.0 BB/9 in the minors. Quite a success story for someone who was signed for $80,000 just a little over three years ago. I wouldn't consider him a must pickup in standard 10- or 12-team mixed leagues, but he's well worth a flier in deeper formats and NL-only leagues.
As for Mejia, he got the boot from the rotation after putting up a 5.06 ERA and 38/20 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings over seven starts. It's a little disappointing that he didn't get an extended opportunity in the starting rotation, but don't give up on him yet in fantasy leagues. The 24-year-old looked impressive in his first relief appearance Monday, striking out two batters over 1 1/3 innings. Given the state of the Mets' bullpen, he could find himself in the closer role before long.
Injury Odds and Ends:
- Chris Sale is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday with Triple-A Charlotte. Sidelined since April 17 with a flexor muscle strain, the southpaw is expected to make two starts in the minors before being activated. If all goes well, that would put him on track to rejoin the White Sox on May 25 against the Yankees.
- Alex Cobb threw 60 pitches in a four-inning simulated game Monday as he works his way back from a strained left oblique. Assuming he feels OK on Tuesday, the plan calls for him to make a minor league rehab start on Saturday. According to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, there's a chance that he'll only need one start in the minors, setting up a potential return next weekend against the Red Sox.
- Carlos Quentin has yet to make his season debut due to a bone bruise in his left knee, but he's expected to be activated Tuesday. With Seth Smith, Cameron Maybin, Will Venable, and Chris Denorfia, the Padres figure to do plenty of shuffling in their outfield, possibly playing the hot hand. This scenario might not be such a bad thing for Quentin given his injury history, but it could be a challenge to navigate in fantasy leagues on a daily basis. Still, Quentin is worth a look in deeper mixed leagues if you need power. Sure, he might end up on the disabled list again next week, but he's productive when he plays.
AL Quick Hits: Jose Abreu launched his MLB-leading 14th homer Monday against the Athletics ... Anibal Sanchez (blister) threw 60 pitches Monday in a simulated game and hopes to return Sunday against the Red Sox … Mark Buehrle gave up two runs in six innings Monday against the Angels to notch his MLB-leading seventh victory … Rick Porcello allowed one run over six innings against the Orioles on Monday to improve to 6-1 on the year. He exited early for precautionary reasons due to tightness in his side, but isn't expected to miss a start … CC Sabathia will make a precautionary visit to Dr. James Andrews regarding his right knee … Jesse Chavez struck out seven and allowed two runs in eight innings in Monday's win over the White Sox ... Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that an MRI on Martin Perez's elbow revealed "no hard evidence" to a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament … Carlos Beltran left Monday's game with a hyperextended right elbow and will undergo an MRI … Colby Rasmus exited Monday's game against the Angels due to right hamstring tightness and could require a trip to the disabled list … Mark Teixeira was held out of Monday's lineup due to left groin tightness … Brett Lawrie (hamstring) launched a two-run homer in his return to the lineup Monday … Colby Lewis struck out eight batters over 5 2/3 scoreless innings in Monday's win over the Astros … Stefen Romero went 3-for-5 with a home run, three RBI, and three runs scored in Monday's win over the Rays ...
NL Quick Hits: Bryce Harper had the stitches removed from his surgically-repaired left thumb Monday, but isn't ready for rehab work … Emilio Bonifacio went 4-for-5 with a walk and five runs scored in Monday's blowout win over the Cardinals … Eric Young, Jr. finished 3-for-5 with a home run and a stolen base Monday against the Yankees and continues to make a case for additional playing time … Tim Lincecum struck out a season-high 11 batters and allowed just one run over 7 2/3 innings in Monday's win over the Braves … Addison Reed gave up home runs to Danny Espinosa and Kevin Frandsen for a blown save and a loss Monday against the Nationals … Junior Lake homered and knocked in a career-high six runs Monday against the Cardinals … Jaime Garcia (shoulder) allowed two runs over five innings Monday in a minor league rehab start with Triple-A Memphis … Joe Kelly (hamstring) has resumed long tossing, but there's no timeline for when he'll get back on the mound … Playing part-time in left field for the Giants with Mike Morse filling in for Brandon Belt at first base, Tyler Colvin homered and tripled Monday against the Braves ... Yasiel Puig went 1-for-3 with a three-run homer, 4 RBI and a pair of walks …